Rich Man George
George and Jake are enjoying a celebratory dinner after the city’s attempt to restore George’s life. His record is clear, and he has plenty of money to get out there and live again. George wants to reconnect with his son and set up a trust for him. It is a big step, but George says he is ready. Jake is distracted by Sydney on a bad first date and offers to “rescue” her, but not before George astutely points out Jake’s interest in Sydney. A little dinner theatre with Jake starring as a paralegal, and Sydney is rescued from said date. The tension between these two continues to build as she declines his ride home.
George plays around on the piano pondering what to say to his son. As George questions why Jake has a piano he can’t play, the two create a discordant symphony that beautifully represents their friendship. George, moving slower, more plaintively and Jake driving a little quicker melody, with more notes and more flair. By music theory, it was awful, by measure of humanity, a thing of beauty.
Jake drives George to see his son and in trying to calm George’s nerves, reveals more about his own life experiences. Jake’s life was marred by the leaving of his own father and his mother refusing to accept that he wouldn’t return. She filled the space with men who may fit the mold as a replacement for a bit, but nothing ever lasted long term. Along the way, Jake lost faith. In a heartfelt talk, Jake tells George how he restored Jake’s faith in husbands and fathers. He thanks George for that gift and George exits the car to face the fate of his own relationship with his son. Tense moments as they see each other face to face, a warm embrace and a sense that it will all work out for George.
The whole crew (even Robbie) have gathered for Thanksgiving. Della, Jake and Anthony are all in the kitchen. Robbie is trying to figure out where he fits, and Sydney and Elijah are playing host. Emerson seems to be navigating his first Thanksgiving among this new family comfortably. They toast to family and Jake gets a call about George. He figures he needs to pick him up from another fountain dance and heads out.
A Triangle of Comfort?
Jake is gutted by George’s death. A man that entered his life via Post-It note exits even more dramatically. Jake stays by the river screaming and processing until he must go somewhere. He finds himself at Sydney’s door. They share a powerful moment that is interrupted by someone else coming down Sydney’s stairs…Robbie. Jake excuses himself to find some way to pick up the pieces of the day.
This episode is a masterpiece from beginning to end. The cinematic feel of the camera work, the powerful story lines on all sides, the exquisite acting from the excellent writing, this one is special. If Scott Shepherd doesn’t get an Emmy for his performance of George, I don’t know for what those awards are given. As great as that performance was, I don’t think it works without Barry Sloane’s personification of Jake. The duo played such a beautiful story together throughout the season. I’ll admit, my gut was worried about George the entire season so while the ending didn’t entirely catch me by surprise, I was impressed that the writers carried it through. While we all hate the outcome, the story arc was thoughtful and beautiful.
I equally loved watching the family dynamics change as Elijah, Sydney and Emerson figure out their new family arrangement. Is it all just perfect now? No. Each character still has issues through which to work, but the progress made through the season gives hope to viewers.
We got some insight on each member of the firm, but I want so much more. Please NBC, give us a season 2!!!!! The writing, the acting, the story arcs and even Memphis have so much more to offer us. Viewers, get to work, watch it, tell others to watch it. Let’s build the audience to get our Season 2. Until then, thank you to the cast, crew, and creatives for a spectacular, thought-provoking season of television.
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